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Porcupine Tree by hitop211 Porcupine Tree :iconhitop211:hitop211 2 0 Giraffe by hitop211 Giraffe :iconhitop211:hitop211 1 0 Toy Matinee by hitop211 Toy Matinee :iconhitop211:hitop211 1 0 Kevin Gilbert by hitop211 Kevin Gilbert :iconhitop211:hitop211 2 0 The Tables Have Turned Page 10 by hitop211
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Chubby Summer - Reika's Chubby Lover: Part 3 :iconhitop211:hitop211 5 7
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Just in case anybody was curious as to why it's been chirping crickets in my neck of the woods lately, I'm about a month away from graduating with my Master's Degree. I'm currently finishing up a graduate paper, and I'll be doing an oral exam with my graduate committee near the end of the month. Before I know it I'll be all done with graduate school, and there's a good chance that I may make a grand comeback a way of thanking you for your patience. Some of you have asked when another comic is coming, and I may have something in the works. Maybe. Again, patience is a virtue. I'll check in every once in a while, but for now it time for me to get this graduate stuff done.

I shall return.
Porcupine Tree
What began as a musical hoax for self-taught audio engineer and recording artist Steven Wilson would become one of the most influential bands to emerge during the 90’s, and cement themselves among the great progressive rock bands into the new millennium. Steven Wilson, along with friend and occasional collaborator Malcolm Stocks, conceptualized Porcupine Tree as a fictional band with a fabricated background of band members who met at rock festivals and spent several trips in and out of prison. When Wilson gathered enough recording equipment, he produced a few albums to provide existence of the band. Drawing influence from progressive rock and psychedelic rock from the 70’s, the first Porcupine Tree releases “Tarquin’s Seaweed Farm”(1989), “Love, Death and Mussolini”(1990), and “The Nostalgia Factory”(1991) proved to be quite successful enough for this fictional band to become more of a reality for Wilson as the newly formed Delerium Records opted to sign the band. The best selected material from the first three releases were compiled for Porcupine Tree’s debut album “On the Sunday of Life.” The rest of the material made it to the companion compilation “Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape.”

Steven Wilson went on to record what he considered to be Porcupine Tree’s true debut album “Up The Downstair” with occasional assistance from future band members Colin Edwin and Richard Barbieri. Barbieri had previously achieved success in the music industry as a member of the art rock band Japan in the 80’s. After recording “Up The Downstair”, drummer Chris Maitland was recruited to make Porcupine Tree an established live band. However when recording “The Sky Moves Sideways,” half of the album featured the full band while Wilson continued to perform all of the instruments himself for the remainder. It wasn’t until the release of “Signify” that the full band began to record in the studio as a collaborative effort among all members, and their first major live album “Coma Divine” was released. After finding a new home under Snapper Records, Porcupine Tree released two more albums, “Stupid Dream,” and “Lightbulb Sun,” and landed themselves among major touring acts associated with progressive rock such as Dream Theater and Marillion.

Things took a turn with the Porcupine Tree as Chris Maitland left and was replaced by Gavin Harrison, and on top of that the band signed onto a new label Lava Records. Their two albums with this new lineup and label were “In Absentia” and “Deadwing,” which saw the band take a musical approach more toward heavy metal. The band recruited guitarist John Wesley on tour, performed with Swedish progressive metal band Opeth, and won an award for Best 5.1 Mix at the 2004 Best Surround Sound Music awards show in Los Angeles. It was during the time that the band reached the Billboard charts for the first time in their career.

In yet another turn of events, the band signed on to Roadrunner Records and released “Fear of a Blank Planet,” which reached the Billboard 200 charts, was nominated for a Grammy in “Best Surround Sound Album,” and won the “Album of the Year” award for Classic Rock magazine. “Fear of a Blank Planet” is their highest selling album to date. Their follow-up, and final album for the band, was the double album “The Incident” which became their highest charting album.

After completion of touring to promote “The Incident,” Steven Wilson focused on his solo career after the release of his album “Insurgentes” in 2008. He assembled a different backup band and took a musical approach that was departed from Porcupine Tree. Meanwhile, the remaining members began work on other projects, such as performing with King Crimson and recording with Marillion lead singer Steve Hogarth. Since then, Wilson had brought up the possibility of performing with Porcupine Tree again despite lacking any plans for the band but has also declared the band non-existent and that fans would be waiting for a long time for a reunion.

I first heard about Porcupine Tree after the release of the album “Fear of a Blank Planet,” and while I found it interesting was wasn’t completely drawn into the band yet. I was amazed by the fact that Steven Wilson is a self-taught audio engineer and has recorded the music himself with little to no help from additional engineers. The first album that I bought by them was “Signify” and I was really impressed by the blend of progressive and psychedelic rock as well as ambient music in their sound. I really noticed a change in their sound when listening to “In Absentia” for the first time, but I still enjoyed listening to the album with its heavy metal leanings. After buying as much of their catalog as possible(a handful of their releases were fan club exclusives and are out of print), I was really fascinated in hearing the evolution of the band throughout the years. I was fortunate enough to see the band live when they toured for “The Incident,” and they were amazing in concert. As much as I enjoy Steven Wilson's music as a solo artist, I personally wouldn’t mind seeing a series of one-off shows with Porcupine Tree even if there were no plans for a full-fledged reunion complete with new music for the band. Only time will tell.

Members(from left to right):
Gavin Harrison – Drums, Percussion (2002-2010)
Steven Wilson – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Synthesizers, Banjo, Hammered Dulcimer, Other Instruments (1987-2010)
Colin Edwin – Bass (1993-2010)
Richard Barbieri – Keyboards, Synthesizers, Piano, Processing (1993-2010)

Touring Members:
John Wesley – Guitars, Backing Vocals (2002-2010)

Former Members:
Chris Maitland – Drums, Backing Vocals (1993-2001)

Studio albums:

On The Sunday of Life (1992)

Up The Downstair (1993)

The Sky Moves Sideways (1995)

Signify (1996)

Stupid Dream (1999)

Lightbulb Sun (2000)

In Absentia (2002)

Deadwing (2005)

Fear of a Blank Planet (2007)

The Incident (2009)

Live Albums/Videos:

Spiral Circus (1994)

Coma Divine (1997)

XM (2003)

Warszawa (2004)

XMII (2005)

Rockpalast (2006)

Arriving Somewhere… (2006)

We Lost the Skyline (2008)

Ilosaarirock (2009)

Anesthetize (2010)

Atlanta (2010)

Octane Twisted (2012)

Extended Plays:

Moonloop (1994) – Re-released on the 2004 remaster of “The Sky Moves Sideways”

Staircase Infinites (1994) – Re-released on the 2005 remaster of “Up The Downstair”

Coma Divine II (1997) – Re-released on the 2003 expanded version of “Coma Divine”

Transmission IV (2001)

Futile (2003)

Nil Recurring (2007) – Also featured on the DVDA version of “Fear of a Blank Planet”


Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape (1994)

Insignificance (1997) – Re-released on the 2003/04 remaster of “Signify”

Metanoia (1998)

Voyage 34: The Complete Trip (2000)

Recordings (2001)

Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991-1997 (2002)

Shout-outs to JackHammer86 for the artwork inspiration, and gen8 for Anime Face Maker 2.
Originally named after the first two letters of Kevin Gilbert's last name and the initials of original member Robert A. Ferris, GIRAF(later to be finalized as Giraffe) recorded their debut album "The Power of Suggestion" not with the intention of forming a live band but rather as a production demo to connect with record companies in Los Angeles. After a live band was put together, Gilbert demanded that "The Power of Suggestion" be released on a CD rather than a cassette(remember, this was in 1987) so he contacted a friend to press a limited number of copies on CD. This album became known for being the very first independent release on a CD, and listeners often compated the music to Genesis if Peter Gabriel had not left the band. A music video was produced for the song "This Warm Night", which was featured on MTV.

After a series of session rehearsals and live performances, Giraffe entered in the Yamaha Soundcheck International Rock Competition in 1988 where they played the songs "This Warm Night" and "Because of You"(which Gilbert nicknamed "The Da De Do Da Song," you'll have to listen in order to understand), and out of thousands of bands that entered Giraffe won the competition. An actual live recording of this particular performance exists, and you can listen to it here. A live video of this same performance is available on Gilbert's live DVD "Welcome To Joytown: Live at The Troubadour."

Following the competition, Kevin Gilbert met with Patrick Leonard to form Toy Matinee. Before going their separate ways, Giraffe recorded their second album "The View From Here." The rest of the band members went back to their day jobs, including working at Cisco Systems and Digidesign(known for the digital audio workstation Pro Tools). While it's billed as a performance by Giraffe, Kevin Gilbert and Stan Cotey were the only original members of the band to perform "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" at Progfest '94.

Due to the limited pressing of both studio albums, the original versions have become collectors items(they were even signed by Kevin Gilbert himself, making them real collectors items). The albums were remastered and re-released in 2012, but unfortunately they too are out of print as of this writing. The closest to experiencing the music of Giraffe is listening to Gilbert's solo albums "Thud" and "The Shaming of The True" as many Giraffe songs were re-recorded for those albums. Another Giraffe song is on the compilation "Nuts." At this point, if you happen to find copies of both of these albums at a bargain price then buy them immediately. I'm hoping that one day the Kevin Gilbert Family Estate will make these albums available once again, because these albums are some of the best work that Kevin Gilbert has ever done.

Members(from left to right):

J. Scott Smith - Drums
Stan Cotey - Guitars, Bass on "A 20th Anniversary Performance of 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway'"
Kevin Gilbert - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Michael Abowd - Keyboards
Chris Beveridge - Bass

RIP Kevin Gilbert (1966-1996)

Additional members:

Nick D'Virgilio - Drums
Dan Hancock - Guitars
Dave Kerzner - Keyboards

Studio albums:

The Power of Suggestion (1987)

The View From Here (1989)

Live albums:

Kevin Gilbert's Giraffe: A 20th Anniversary Performance of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" (2014)


Giraffe (1999)

Shout-outs to JackHammer86 for the artwork inspiration and gen8 for Anime Face Maker 2.
Toy Matinee
After the success of the Yamaha Soundcheck International Rock Competition in 1988 with his band Giraffe, Kevin Gilbert was approached by pop producer Patrick Leonard to forming a songwriting duo. Their sole self-titled output fused highly polished pop music with progressive rock, and two music videos were produced for the songs "Last Plane Out" and "The Ballad of Jenny Ledge." One notable musician to appear as a guest on the album was Julian Lennon, son of the late great John Lennon.

Patrick Leonard and Kevin Gilbert had not worked together since, but Leonard recruited former Mr. Mister lead vocalist and bassist Richard Paige to form Third Matinee to which they released there sole album "Meanwhile" in 1994. Because of Gilbert's untimely death, the chance of any new activity by Toy Matinee is highly unlikely. Despite the album's success after selling 200K copies it is sadly out of print(and unfortunately the Kevin Gilbert Family Estate does not hold the rights to this album), but if you do happen to stumble upon a copy of "Toy Matinee" for a bargain price then buy it. Otherwise, there is a light at the end of the tunnel; after browsing out of curiosity, "Toy Matinee" is thankfully available to listen to on Spotify. Don't miss out.

Members(from left to right):

Patrick Leonard - Keyboards
Kevin Gilbert - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards

RIP Kevin Gilbert (1966-1996)

Studio members:

Brian MacLeod - Drums
Tim Pierce - Guitars
Guy Pratt - Bass

Touring members:

Marc Bonilla - Guitars & Backing Vocals
Spencer Campbell - Bass & Backing Vocals
Sheryl Crow - Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Anastasios 'Toss' Panos - Drums

Studio albums:

Toy Matinee (1990)

Live albums:

Kevin Gilbert Performs Toy Matinee Live (2010)


Kevin Gilbert: Toy Matinee Acoustic (2014)

Shout-outs to JackHammer86 for the artwork inspiration, and gen8 for Anime Face Maker 2.
Kevin Gilbert

To the mainstream music world, he was merely known as the piano player for Sheryl Crow’s breakthrough album “Tuesday Night Music Club.” But to anybody who knew him personally or knows him through his music, he was more than that. Much more. Kevin Gilbert was an amazing musical talent, and a genius songwriter and composer who left us all too soon at the age of 29 years young in 1996 before potentially reaching the top of the charts with his music.

Kevin Gilbert started composing when he was 12, while playing around with tape recorders as he experimented with multitrack recording. He grew up listening to the likes of Burt Bacharach and Seals & Croft, but he was introduced by an uncle of his to progressive rock with the album “Foxtrot” by Genesis. Soon afterward he discovered other progressive rock greats, including Yes and Gentle Giant. By high school he had fronted a trio called NRG where he sang and played keyboards, and wrote music blending synth pop with progressive rock. NRG had recorded one album.

After high school, Kevin Gilbert enrolled at UCLA where he studied film and left after one year to concentrate on his music career, to which he landed a full time gig as a keyboardist for Eddie Money’s backup band. After this stint, he began writing and recording music for a project of his which would eventually be known as the band Giraffe. This progressive rock band, which critics have described as resembling Genesis had Peter Gabriel remained in the band throughout the 80’s, had produced only two albums independently, yet Giraffe managed to win the Yamaha Soundcheck International Rock Competition in 1988. This event caught the attention of producer Pat Leonard who invited Gilbert to start a songwriting duo project that would be known as Toy Matinee.

The success of Toy Matinee, with their sole self-titled album selling 200K copies worldwide, and Pat Leonard’s role as a high profile pop producer led to Kevin Gilbert’s involvement in sessions with the likes of pop icons such as Madonna and Michael Jackson. After such successful comings, he felt a calling to begin work on his first solo album which he spent the first couple of years struggling to perfect according to his taste. He took time off of his solo album to join the Tuesday Music Club with friends and colleagues including his then girlfriend at the time Sheryl Crow.

The Tuesday Music Club wrote songs together and played locally around Los Angeles before recording what would become Sheryl Crow’s debut album “Tuesday Night Music Club.” After completion of the album, Kevin Gilbert’s relationship with Crow had deteriorated and she replaced her backup band thus leaving the members of the Tuesday Music Club in the dust.

After this disparaging episode, Kevin Gilbert reformed Giraffe(with only one original member beside Gilbert) for Progfest ’94 to perform the Genesis album “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” with Gilbert taking the role of Peter Gabriel as Rael. Gilbert eventually completed his masterpiece of a debut album "Thud" in 1995, and during this session he recorded a cover version of the Led Zeppelin song “Kashmir,” which was omitted from the Led Zeppelin tribute album “Encomium” at the last minute but gained widespread popularity among radio in Los Angeles. During this time in 1995, Sheryl Crow’s debut album picked up a number of Grammy Awards including Record of the Year for the song “All I Wanna Do,” which Gilbert co-wrote.

After performing in promotion of the album "Thud," Kevin Gilbert began writing for a couple of projects; one was for an industrial rock band called Kaviar that Gilbert had formed with colleagues and the other was a follow-up to his debut album, a rock opera about the success and downfall of a rock musician named Johnny Virgil who was chewed up and spit out by the record industry, and left out on the streets.

Sadly, he never lived to see the day of the release of what would become his genius concept album “The Shaming of The True.” Kevin Gilbert was found dead in his home in 1996. The cause of his death, according to reports, was autoerotic asphyxiation. It’s truly an undignified death, I know, but I choose to remember Kevin Gilbert for his music and encourage everyone else to do the same.

While “Shaming” was largely completed at the time of his death it took a couple of his former bandmates and colleagues, under the request of the Kevin Gilbert Family Estate, to finish and without the aid of detailed notes made completion even more of a challenge. Sadly, and ironically, Kevin Gilbert’s manager was contacted by Genesis’ manager with the hopes of recruiting Gilbert as the replacement for Phil Collins(who left the band in 1996) after his death. Much of Kevin’s unreleased music was compiled and released(see “Nuts” and “Bolts”), and his older releases - with the exception of Toy Matinee, which is held under the rights of Warner Bros. - have been remastered and re-released.

It should be noted that Kevin Gilbert was also a producer for a number of bands around the Los Angeles area, and he had composed music for film and television. Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy is a fan of both Gilbert and Toy Matinee, and had contacted him to produce their album “Falling Into Infinity” before his untimely death. Gilbert even recorded cover versions of songs by Yes and Genesis for a couple of tribute albums, and one of his songs from “Shaming” was featured on a tribute album for the band Gentle Giant.

As for how I’d gotten into the music of Kevin Gilbert, I’ll admit that it didn’t have an immediate impact on me. I’d listened to a few songs from “Thud,” but I wasn’t drawn in right away. It wasn’t until I’d listened to his earlier music in Toy Matinee and Giraffe – and even NRG – that I was totally sucked in. He made use of rich harmonies both vocally and instrumentally, and he arranged his songs to be more complex than your typical pop tune. I took a chance and bought a copy of “Thud,” as well as “The Shaming of The True,” and soon discovered more great music along the way. It was a purchase worth every penny. I also have a great deal of respect for recording artists who can pick up any instrument and learn to play it in a short period of time. When Gilbert produced an album for Keith Emerson, he suggested adding some clarinets to a song but they had no immediate access to a clarinetist. There happened to be a clarinet in the studio, so he learned how to play the instrument within a half an hour and performed it himself on the recording. Quite impressive if you ask me.

If anyone is curious about the music of Kevin Gilbert, check out his website at where you can listen to clips of his genius music and purchase online. And no, I’m not working for the Kevin Gilbert Family Estate. I’m simply a fan who wants to make his works known to anyone and everyone searching for more great music to add to their music library. You will not be disappointed.

RIP Kevin Gilbert (1966-1996)


Studio albums:

Thud (1995)

The Shaming of The True (2000)


Live Albums:

Live at the Troubadour (1999)



Nuts (2009)

Bolts (2009)


Shout-outs to JackHammer86 for the artwork inspiration, and gen8 for Anime Face Maker 2.



Add a Comment:
MuffinTopManor Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you Soooo much for watchin!
noonecaresatall Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2016
When is a new comic coming out?
hitop211 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2016
I don't have an answer to that as I do this in my spare time, and my priorities in my personal life come first. However, I do my best to inform the DA community when I have something in the works. So don't hold your breath on the next work from me, but do keep your eyes peeled when I make an announcement.
Anjalea Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2016  Hobbyist Filmographer
Thx For The Watch! by SimsMovieGirl  
andynortonuk Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2016  Hobbyist Filmographer
Thank you for the watch. 
ARandomGuyOnDA Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
man, what software did you use to make the comic? it's great!
hitop211 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2016
GIMP. And to get into the specifics, I took advantage of the tracing tool in order to get those accurate recreations of Stormy's characters. It's a rather time consuming process, but it works for me.
ARandomGuyOnDA Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
man, im trying to to it. i can't even figure out how to trace drawings in gimp.
hitop211 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2016
No worries. It just takes a lot of time and patience to get down. I had to use the help menu and look up many tutorial videos just to figure out how to use the program, but then again I was just being more autodidactic with the program. I still have much more to learn, so you're in good hands.
(1 Reply)
undertaker33 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the watch! :D Just got my laptop back so I'm working on more writing now :)
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